My husband and I had his father living with us for his last 14 months. Before he came we discussed division of labor. Husb did all personal care (helping him dress etc and anything bathroom related helped him get to and from the table) and I did support care (laundry and food prep). We both worked full time and had a caregiver come through the middle of the day who took care of lunch and baths. I can't imagine it if we hadn't worked as a team.
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Reply to greeneracres
BlackHole Mar 31, 2019
Your teamwork is admirable, for sure. And rare! Well done.
I was to my mother in law. I had no legal right to be in charge of her but was the one who walked the paperwork through to get her SSI. I was also the one who got her into AL and the finally into a nursing home. Both places allowed me to sign paperwork and authorized everything that needed to be done. All without power of attorney. Her case worker also allowed me to sign everything. I didn't have POA and her son, my husband, wasn't even involved yet he could have been doing all that. I loved my mother in law and didn't mind one bit but still found it amazing that I was allowed to do what I did. Her son and I divorced and he died five months later. (she never knew). Then she passed away. Her daughter wasn't taking calls from me (she lived in another state) because she was scared I'd try to move her mother in with her. I had to tell her via e-mail her mother had passed. I wouldn't change my time with my MIL for anything but then I never had to deal with her as she lost her mind. Instead she was in a safe place just down the road where I could see her several times a day if I wanted to. Since I was her only visitor the nursing home staff just assumed I was her daughter.
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Reply to whaleyf
BlackHole Mar 31, 2019
You have a very big heart. Also a unique strength - doing hubby’s and SIL’s heavy lifting without becoming resentful.
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I retired from my job 4 years ago to stay at home with my mom who has lived with us since my dad died 17 years ago. She is in moderate stage of Alzheimer now. I am lucky to have such a wonderful spouse that supports us financially as well as many other ways. But this 24 hours of care is So Emotionally and Physically draining. My mother and I were always very close, she was my best friend. Now I can barely look at her some days. I take good care of her but the relationship has drastically changed, My mom, as she was, is gone and I miss her very much. I feel very alone and overwhelmed more than not. But at the same time there is No Way I could put her in a home. We watched my aunt die in one and my grandfather and I promised her I would never let that happen to her. What helps me through are some real good crying sessions, the love of my husband, son and a few good close friends And This Forum. This is the first time I have posted anything. Reading the forums and knowing that I am not alone has truly kept me going. It doesn't really get easier but I know in my heart that if I put her in a home I would feel worse and so would she. I do feel very lucky a lot of times when I read some of the things here that other people have to go through that I do not. And I don't feel as alone either. My heart goes out to you and everyone else out there dealing with a loved one with Alzheimer or Dementia. I do believe we are better people for it even though sometimes I do not feel very good about myself. We just gotta keep whatever joy we can get out of everyday close. Good Luck
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Reply to Thetownsend1224
disgustedtoo Mar 31, 2019
Although I didn't have that kind of relationship with my mother (and have no spouse to help either), we moved our mother to MC when it was needed (she lived alone prior to that.) Physically I could not care for her myself (brothers would be clueless) and she would not be able to manage the stairs here, nor the current "clutter" due to renovations needed.

Kudos to you for honoring your promise. It certainly isn't easy, sometimes harder than finding a good place. Hopefully you take some time off, even just a night out or a day trip now and then, to unwind and enjoy some time with hubby! You DO need to consider your own care as well!

It is GREAT that your spouse supports you in every way that he can... unlike another poster who is fed up with his wife and keeps insisting they place her mother in AL and "enjoy" their retirement. Not all ALs are alike and some can be dangerous too. I suspect the wife in that case feels like you do - great former relationship and fears what might happen if they move her (she lives in the house next door, not in their house.) There are many factors to consider in each case.
I was primary care giver to my in laws. She had Alzheimers he had Lewy body dementia. What was hard was in Sibling in laws lived across the country. And took at face value any thing their parents said. "Kaede is being mean to us, she won't let me buy the shoes I want." Well yes, you don't have any money for shoes right now. Anyway 4 inch Ferragamo heels at 800.00 bucks aren't a good option for you. Or "Kaede is stealing our money". Uh, no, you put your wallet in the freezer and it took me a while to find it. Or "Kaede won't let me walk her dog". You bet your sweet bippy I won't. Oz is a 250 lb, 36 in at the shoulder St Bernard. You can go on a walk with me and Oz, but you aren't going anywhere with Oz by yourself. The sibs took the complaints VERY seriously. I would get phone calls every evening about the "theft" the "refusing" to let them spend money the way they wanted, etc. At the same time as this was going on I had 4 children at home, youngest was 6 the eldest 15. I did this for two years. Until my in laws couldn't be left alone by them selves at ALL. I then told my sib in laws that I was either going to have to put my in laws in a memory care unit or they would have to come get them. After they moved my in laws to to their state, in 6 months they were in a MC unit. Lots of the anger is still unresolved. They wanted me to take "better care" of their parents, I wanted some support.
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Reply to K43d35
BlackHole Mar 31, 2019
No good deed goes unpunished, eh? Your anger is justified. I see no need to resolve it.

Compartmentalize the anger, yes. Take care to not let the anger affect your marriage, yes.

Resolve......who gives a sh*t? Your sibs-in-law sure don’t.

It took a lot of nerve - and even more disrespect - for your sibs-in-law to not believe you. Screw them.

If there’s a silver lining, you & hubby now know (in advance) how useless that crew will be if you or he ever need assistance or support in the future.

Trust me, knowing who NOT to call is a blessing. It cuts out a lot of wasted time and disappointment.

((((hugs)))) 🧡
I helped care for MIL. She was more like a mom than MIL. She was an angel and I miss her terribly.

I realize not everyone has good inlaws. Then it could be terribly frustrating. Do you want to share more? Might be able to answer better with more details. Best of luck to you. Hugs!
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Reply to NeedHelpWithMom

This can be very overwhelming on anyone! It can also be frustrating at times as well. I think too many people view IL/AL Communities as a place they’re dropping of their loved one because they don’t want to deal with it themselves. When I’m fact, these communities can be a second chance for our loved ones- a place they can connect with others who understand what they’re going through & share what they’ve went through. It’s in a way a support group that also provides the level of care tailored to each residents individual needs, while they still have their own space/apartment which still gives them that independent freedom of having their own place. With also giving them the relief from yard work, housecleaning, paying utilities, cooking-all the worry and stress of being on their own...with a group of potential new friends and lots of options for socializing, trips, activities but still all with a sense of feeling safe. This also gives the relationships with loved ones a relief-because now when you get together, it’s to visit and just spend time with one another-not worrying about taking care of everything for them. My suggestion to anyone who wants to continue to care for their lives one themselves, is to at the very least do respite stays for their loved one in an AL/IL Community so that everyone gets a break to refresh and it’s also a great way to test the waters of how someone might do in an IL/AL Community. Most places offer anywhere from as short as a 2 day stay, up to a 2 month stay in totally furnished apartment, with meals, medication, all activities happening in the community, as well as what ever level of care they need provided. This way the care giver gets a moment to refresh/reset and take a little me time or family vacation without the stress and worry. The biggest mistake caregivers make is not taking care of themselves!
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Reply to Mamdyleah3
BlackHole Mar 31, 2019
Well put. Care does not have to be hands-on. It is common to become overly invested in preserving a loved one’s “independence”...... when that so-called independence is actually a total dependence on one person or one household. Caregivers need to leave something in the tank for spouse, children, career and self-care. A community for the elder can create the opportunity to rebalance family roles.
I take care of my mother. It is tricky trying to find balance taking care of her while giving her her independence.
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Reply to TheresaCole
Isthisrealyreal Apr 1, 2019
Do you get how false her "independence" is?

While you take care of her, she is not independent at all.

Just saying, because I think a lot of stress is placed on children because their parents demand independence, while sucking our life force to take care of them. It's a lie I personally won't play into. Make believe games should be reserved for the very young only.
I take care of my MIL and at first it was very hard but after a while it became a little better. In what way do you mean tricky?
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Reply to Momof5and8

My sister who lives closer to my dad, is now his caregiver. She did at times find him difficult but with ironing out a few wrinkles My Mom left behind....He is more Kind.
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Reply to Parise

Wow. Just wow!
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Reply to Arlyle

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